Home Arts Brace yourselves — the winter soldier is coming

Brace yourselves — the winter soldier is coming

by Jocelyn Beaudet April 1, 2014
Brace yourselves — the winter soldier is coming

Disney takes on Marvel again, and turns Captain America into a contemporary tale

Superhero movies have been trending on the silver screen for almost a decade now. Spider Man, X-Men, Iron Man and Thor have each gotten their own reimaginings with a fair level of success at the box office. In the line of heroes covered was also Captain America: The First Avenger. Though the 2011 movie received its share of negative reviews, it paved the way for The Avengers a year later, and proved to be a well received adaptation.

The latest in Marvel’s line of movies is a take on Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Winter Soldier story arc from Captain America. Photo courtesy of Marvel.

Along comes the second movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, bridging together the events following the first film, and putting the hero into contemporary times. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is propelled into the age of Twitter, the Internet and the strangeness that the last 50 years have wrought. Despite this though, Rogers seems in his element and the turn of the new millenium comes off as being almost inconsequential to him.

After an assassination is attempted on Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson), he turns to Rogers and warns him that SHIELD (an organization dedicated to securing the world’s population) has been infiltrated and that no one should be trusted. So begins the retelling of Ed Brubaker’s classic story arc of The Winter Soldier. Captain America must take down SHIELD, that is now hellbent on killing him and using the organization’s superior technology to control the population of the world. Along the way, Rogers meets Nick Fury’s assassin — known only as the Winter Soldier — and uncovers the global conspiracy behind SHIELD’s security breach.

Running at a whopping 136 minutes, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a thrilling ride that, unlike the 2011 movie, captures the essence of Captain America. The action scenes are thrilling, fast and packed with impressive fight choreography and a great mix of hand-to-hand combat and shooting. The special effects are top notch, and the movie’s $170 million budget feels well spent. The city is impressive to look at, and SHIELD’s stellar CGI airships and planes feel dutifully rendered, and seamlessly blend in.

Where the movie falls short is the midway point, breaking up the action for some necessary plot exposition. While it fills its need, the dialogue between Captain America and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is awkward and often skirt on being completely tacky.

But the groan-inducing moments are short-lived, and usually provide the ‘suddenly’ effect that’s popular in comic books. It feels like every scene is going to turn into some sort of action, and while this isn’t always the case, the movie stays on track and never leaves the audience bored for more than a few minutes at a time.

It’s understandable if you are expecting disappointment — superhero movies generally don’t  hold up too well for comic book readers. Some of the creative liberties taken for the sake of cinematography often leave a sour taste in the mouth, and usually, makes us return to the original material rather than the watered down Hollywoodized versions.Each scene is supported by masterfully rendered music composed by Henry Jackman (responsible for X-Men among a list of several contributions to the film industry). The soundtrack never feels out of place, and always scores scenes in a relevant, powerful fashion that helps shape the emotion that each scene is meant to evoke.

But The Winter Soldier is different. Walking out of the theatre with after what was a satisfying experience made this reviewer consider what Marvel remakes are coming out next. Whether you’re a fan of the old red, white and blue or just looking to get your fill of superhero action flicks, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is well worth the price of entry and definitely fills the void left behind in the first instalment.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens in theatres nationwide on April 4.

 

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